Dec 15, 2008

it's new to you, part two

I think I’ve discovered a microtrend: reviews of things that aren’t new. There’s reviewing things everyone else has read but you haven’t, or there’s reviewing things you’ve already read…and maybe some of your readers haven’t. Example: Cynthia Crossen reviews John le CarrĂ©’s 1986 A Perfect Spy in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Generally, I don’t reread because so often the books disappoint me, and I feel as if I’ve lost an old friend. With the element of surprise gone, most books seem less powerful to me on a second read. It’s as though I’ve developed scar tissue.

You can buy the paperback edition of A Perfect Spy for a shade under $11, or if you have a le Carré fan on your Christmas list, a first edition first printing for just under $33.